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Sunday, December 07, 2008

A poem from one of my favorite first books

Souvenirs
(for my father)

Through the mirror
I can see you reading
your new testament before bed,
putting it away in the dresser drawer
where you keep

the tin box of foreign coins
and the hand-tinted postcards
of Italy
you brought home from the Navy
in 1954.

We lie awake
my brother and I
listening to you on the back steps
singing
only half to yourself
a snatch of an old miner's song
that goes:

up every day
in the dawn's early light

to go down in a hole
where it's already night

to go down in a hole
where it's already night

it's already night
boys it's already night
,

and through the window
I watch the fireflies
among the trees,
which,
you told us once,
were dead people lighting cigarettes.

T. Crunk

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